Activists on Campus
Hailey Bullis | Fourth Estate | August 27, 2018
Meanwhile, Student Power is an organization that wants to help support other student activist organizations.
“I want Student Power to be a resource for other progressive student [organizations] who need support making a flyer or need support at an event they have,” said Sara Deriso, president of GMU Student Power. “I want Student Power to be a resource for other [organizations] to come to when they need help.”
Beyond that, Student Power plans to attend other organizations’ meetings in an effort to create a more unified force for change. Student Power also focuses heavily on having no tuition price hikes for students and no tuition cost for college.
“I think we as students do not have a voice to the Board of Visitors,” Deriso said. “Our elected student president can sit in on board meetings but they have no speaking privileges. So Student Power wants to facilitate that voice so the people who are in control know what the students are actually thinking and what the students actually need.”
This year, five Student Power members plan to help register students to vote for a fellowship they were granted. The organization went to New Mexico over the summer for voter registration training.
Deriso also had advice for other student activists on campus.
“You may not think your voice is heard, especially to those who hold power, but when we collectivize our power our voices are much stronger and we can make real change by coming together as students to support each other,” Deriso said.
Assisted Virginia NORML Executive Director, Jenn Michelle Pendini, by producing spreadsheets of contacts, drafting a monthly newsletter to supporters, mailing membership cards, and attending the NORML NationalConference to lobby legislators to support bills pertaining to marijuana law reform.
GMU Student Power
Virginia Student Power Network
Aug 2017 – Present
George Mason University, Fairfax VA
Participated in a Candlelight Remembrance for the 1 month anniversary of Charlottesville. Attend monthly meetings. Participated in the 2018 Student Day of Action in partnership with the Virginia Student Power Network (VSPN), New Virginia Majority, and the Virginia Intercollegiate Immigrant Alliance (VIIA). Conducted legislative research and bill tracking while lobbying Delegates and Senators to support legislation to allow all undocumented youth who qualify to receive in-state tuition. Elected GMU Student Power President in May 2018 for the Fall 2018-Spring 2019 term.
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Jun 2016 – Jul 2016
Richmond, Virginia Area
Worked under the Director of Legislative and Constituent Affairs